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When films take on, mock or ignore faith and believers

Published: Thursday, Aug. 25 2011 4:21 p.m. MDT

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A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

When films depict only the religious as either blind and stupid or violent and murderous, they adhere to the strawman fallacy.

There are those tho call themselves 'members' of a faith, yet secretly fight that faith. Using them as an example adheres to the strawman fallacy.

Here is the deductive process.

LDS faithful adhere to LDS doctrine.
LDS doctrine condemns murder.
John Doe kills his wife.

Therefore, the only possible deduction is that John Doe is not an LDS faithful.

Yet Hollywood wants to show those who justify their own actions, rather than adhere to the beliefs of the religion they claim to be a part of. The strawman fallacy is when you misrepresent another persons views, etc. When films only choose to portray religion as 'extreme'ism and members as conspiring and violent- then there is no other conclusion, other than that those films are misrepresenting what it means to either be religious or faithful to the religion in question.

Religions preach one thing, sometimes members do another. Showing their action is independent of what was preached to them. Showing their action and crafting the dialogue to disfavor the religion is strawman, illogical, and morally wrong. It's a lie.

Schwa
South Jordan, UT

Yes, some films mock your lifestyle. Just as you mock the lifestyles of millions of others without batting an eye. Stop pouting. Nobody is trying to make it illegal to be religious.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Schwa, I kindly disagree.

First, people mock my religion all the time. I can get over that. It's when people criminalize it, pushing the limits of libel ALL the time. People make fiction history and history fiction. These things bother me and rightly so.

Second, no one is trying to make it illegal to be religious? Well, I don't think I'll ever convince you or anyone of my view here. I think people are in denial or simply don't understand what their doing. Read the article about the teacher in Florida who posted on facebook. I think that example proves otherwise.

--

Dallin H. Oaks has made a few talks in the past few years, regarding religious freedom being threatened, etc. Have you read these, in full text? I usually tell people this... 'if you're not even willing to read a few documents from those you are arguing against, then what claim do you have? You can't argue against an opinion unless you can accurately represent it.'

I could show people thousands of posts saying 'outlaw religion!' by angry people online, and people would still say 'no one is trying... etc'

So what will it take to convince anyone?

KJB1
Eugene, OR

A voice of Reason:

The teacher signed an agreement with his employers promising not to make those kinds of comments on social media. He violated that, so he was duly fired.

And I could also show you thousands of posts saying that gay people are subhuman and worthy of God's wrath. You don't judge any belief system by its' extremists.

85% of Americans profess some sort of religious belief and it's pretty much impossible to run for an office like President without saying you believe in God. Your religious rights aren't going to be "illegal" anytime soon.

xscribe
Colorado Springs, CO

@A Voice of Reason: Maybe they're just tired of having religion, and the so-called religious, thinking their views are the "true" views about certain topics. When this country can elect a pagan or athiest for president, then we will have a country that has true freedom of religion or lack thereof.

By the way, I would hazzard a guess that the percentage who say they are religious do not follow their religion. If I thought I was going to jeopardize my chances of going to heaven through my acts, if I was a true believer, I think I would do a much better job at not "sinning" than I see - this is what I observe - from those of faith.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I agree with this article. Although it is easy to say that if you don't like those movies then don't go watch them, but if you can make someone look stupid or silly or primitive, you can make them look evil or savage. If you can make them look evil or savage then you can oppress them or kill them, send the US amry over there to fight them because if we fight them there we don't have to fight them here.

That kind of thinking has killed and oppressed a lot of people.

Whether you are religious or not, you should be concerned that a segment of our society is being demonized. This doesn't belong in a tolerant, progressive society.

lds4gaymarriage
Salt Lake City, UT

A voice of Reason
Dallin H. Oaks has made a few talks in the past few years, regarding religious freedom being threatened, etc. Have you read these, in full text?

LDS4
I have. He mentioned the NJ church which owned land with a gazebo and petitioned them to be tax exempt in exchange for allowing the public to use them. When a lesbian couple wanted to use them for their wedding, as straights had done, they were denied and the lesbians sued. The church lost because it went back on their word. How is that a threat to religious freedom?

He mentioned Catholic Charities in Boston which shut down rather than adopt out kids to gay couples. He didnt mention that LDS Family Services there arent forced to do that because, unlike Catholic Charities, we dont take government money. How is that a threat to religious freedom?

He mentioned the photographer who refused to photograph a gay wedding in violation of state law. If that Christian photographer refused to photograph an LDS temple wedding, I bet Elder Oaks would cite that as a violation of the LDSs rights.

Linus
Bountiful, UT

The great struggle between good and evil is ever present. It is not surprising. The scripture calls the evil side "Babylon." Hollywood, in general, is Babylon. The great struggle is not between Hollywood and organized religion. The great struggle is within each individual's heart, whether he will walk the broad and meandering streets of Babylon (and loving it) or walk the straight and narrow path mapped and prescribed by God (if ye love me, keep my commandments).

Those who are truly religious have their own inner compass, and are not thrown of the path by those who mock.

merich39
Salt Lake City, UT

people should take this Hollywood versus religion thing more lightly. just remember that one is make believe and the other is Hollywood.

ClarkKent
Bountiful, Utah

Films mock all kinds of groups. They are just movies for pete's sake.

jaredw007
Salt Lake City, UT

Sounds like Brett Latimer has been listening to Michael Medved a little too much. Yes, Hollywood has gotten away with what could pass as anti-religious propaganda over the years but Hollywood has also produced a lot of movies with pro-religious themes as well. Its a common stereotype to pain Hollywood as this godless society but the truth is, there are people working there from all sorts of religious and non-religious persuasions and yes there are even Mormons working there. I can't say I agree with some of the examples used like "O Brother Where Art Thou" and "Castaway" but I see the point he's trying to make. I just don't fully agree with it.

Mulder21
Salt Lake City, UT

The main problem with religion is that is takes away people's individuality and inhibits free thinking. Religion is a very dangerous and destructive force in the world. It causes people to think irrationally. More people have murdered in the name of religion than for any other cause. Although religion does do some good, the bad that is caused from it out-weighs the good. People need to think for themselves instead of being told what to think.

xscribe
Colorado Springs, CO

Seems Linus just validated my post!

cymrul
West Valley City, UT

The thing to remember that ALL the movies mentioned were just that MOVIES. NOT DOCUMENTARIES. I don't watch "Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang" and then expect that all cars will fly, and I don't expect Sister Act to be an accurate portrayal of life in a convent for a woman hiding from the mob.
I do think it interesting that the comedies "The R.M.", "Singles Ward", etc. were not mentioned. Or are they actually correct in their portrayals of the LDS?

AZRods
Maricopa, AZ

lds4gaymarriage- Your lack of concern over the examples you yourself site are unfortunate and only reinforce what I have seen over that past 30 plus years.
Your convenient lack of details and background to the cases you also mention also decry a lack of honesty in your version of the incidents.
"you bet Elder Oaks would cite that as a violation of the LDS right" is also a pitifully weak presumtion.
Maybe I should change my name to lds4imorality and see how seriously people take me.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

mulder: Your points have been debuked time and time again. The worst mass murders of all time were athesists. They were Mao and Stalin who would killed millions. In fact, Hitler who is an anti-Christ tried to totally exterminate the Jews. Yet you try and fill in your hate for religion based on something that is totally wrong. You can cite the crusades and even some others but the Civil War here in the United States was more about property rights than religion. The Revolutionary War was over personal rights than religion. More wars have been fought in the name of the individual than anything religion could ever dream up.

lds4gaymarriage: I have to applaud AZRods comments to you as he is totally right. When you take the right away from the individual to practice his religion, then you are infriging upon the right of religion. What do you say about the rights of the Mayor of New York not allowing any clergy to participate in the 10th anniversary of 9/11. If it wasn't for the families own faith in many circusmstances they could not have healed otherwise. You can no longer sit on the fence.

ADN
Weiser, ID

Did America create television, or has television created America?

lds4gaymarriage
Salt Lake City, UT

Mulder21
More people have murdered in the name of religion than for any other cause. Although religion does do some good, the bad that is caused from it out-weighs the good. People need to think for themselves instead of being told what to think.

LDS4
Youre SO wrong. Stalin killed 20,000,000; Mao 75,000,000; Hitler 12,000,000. Pol Pot, Castro, N. Korea add millions more. These all happened within the last century. The Inquisition killed about 3000 over 160 years centuries ago. Mao killed more than 3000 before lunch...EVERY DAY. Atheism is FAR more dangerous.

Religious people are more far generous and altruistic. Look at all of the hospitals religious groups have established. I have yet to hear of Atheist General Hospital or Agnostic Memorial. Religious donate more money (beyond their own churches).

If your grandmas car broke down in a bad part of town and she was walking through a dark alley for help and was approached by a group of young men, would you/she be relieved to know that they were coming from a Bible study? You bet!

Religion overwhelmingly promotes good behavior. Atheism promotes hedonism.

lds4gaymarriage
Salt Lake City, UT

AZRods
lds4gaymarriage- Your lack of concern over the examples you yourself site are unfortunate and only reinforce what I have seen over that past 30 plus years.
LDS4
I'm libertarian and believe that the photographer SHOULD be able to deny photographing gays, Mormons, etc... but he CHOSE to serve the public and promised to obey the law.

AZRods
Your convenient lack of details and background to the cases you also mention also decry a lack of honesty in your version of the incidents.
LDS4
I only get 200 words. Google those incidents. You'll see that I'm right.

AZRods
"you bet Elder Oaks would cite that as a violation of the LDS right" is also a pitifully weak presumtion.
LDS4
We LDS cite those who quit their jobs after their support for Prop.8 became known and we claim "persecution". You can bet your bottom dollar that the DN would put the story on Page 1 if some business refused a LDS patron.

AZRods
Maybe I should change my name to lds4imorality and see how seriously people take me.
LDS4
Don't take me seriously. Just show me where I'm mistaken. You seem to imply that it should be easy.

Spaghedeity
Draper, UT

@ lds4gaymarriage | 2:25 p.m. Aug. 26, 2011

The leaders you mention do indeed have plenty of death under their belts. The point you seem to be missing is that their atheism was incidental to the atrocities they committed and not the cause. You can't get someone to kill in the name of atheism, but you can get someone to kill in the name of god or allah. In fact, Hitler was able to use Christianity as a tool to get people to support him. There is a reason the Jews were the main targeted population of the holocaust and that reason sprung from a religious hatred of the Jews. Unfortunately for your argument, a little known fact is that atheists were counted among those who were picked out to be sent to the concentration camps.

You can't expect atheist hospitals to pop up out of nowhere because atheism is simply a lack of belief and isn't an organization. In reality, any secular charity or hospital that isn't attached to a religion could be considered atheist.

You say atheism promotes hedonism, but as I mentioned before it not an organization and therefore doesn't promote anything at all.

Continued....

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